End of an era for award-winning fire brigade dog Roscoe

Roscoe the fire investigation dog

We've just heard news that Roscoe, the amazing 13-year-old fire investigation dog, is hanging up his metaphorical fireproof boots and retiring.

Last year, Roscoe won our Animal of the Year Award at an inspiring ceremony at the House of Lords. His handler, fire investigator Mick Boyle, is now retiring after an incredible 30 years of dedicated service to the London Fire Brigade and that means Roscoe and his doggy-colleague Murphy are also stepping down from service.  

Roscoe is a truly remarkable dog, a springer spaniel who has been helping keep the people of London safe by sniffing out sources of ignition following a fire. As a result, he has helped to solve arson crimes and also acted as a preventative measure for would be arsonists. 

Considering the amazing length of service that Mick has given and all of the experiences, both good and bad that he would have experienced in his 30 years at London Fire Brigade, it was so heart-warming to see his quote in print this week saying: 'One of my proudest moments was Roscoe being named Animal of the Year by the International Fund for Animal Welfare last year.'

Well, I have to say – the awards were one of our proudest moments too. Nothing can beat the feeling of being surrounded by an amazing group of animal-loving heroes and truly exceptional animals. It was a privilege to recognise the brilliant work that Roscoe and Mick have been carrying out, day in and day out, in public service.

And now, we’re getting ready to do it all over again! It will soon be time for our next Animal Action Awards ceremony. The nominations have now closed for this year's awards, and, without giving too much away we have had some really wonderful entries. We’re always overwhelmed by the lengths to which kind people across Britain go to help animals, as well as by the stories of incredible human-animal partnerships such as the bond between Mick and Roscoe.

We’ll be announcing this year’s award-winners in October, so stay tuned. I’m certainly looking forward to meeting more animal heroes, and I hope Mick and Roscoe are looking forward to their well-deserved retirement! 


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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters